PLE w/ @perkyPLEF

The Quick & Dirty PLE Place


Data. Do you ever feel like your head is swimming in numbers? Data. That you need to look at data all the time, and use it to drive everything -- ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING -- you do? Data. Data. Data. Does your head spin when you see data charts or Excel sheets? Do little calculators and percent signs dance around your head while your sleep?

Data data data data data data data data data data data data data data data data data.

Don't worry. You're not alone.

Data can be overwhelming, especially if you're not used to sorting through it. Data is also important, which is why we constantly hear things about being data driven! It helps us pinpoint areas for improvement and areas of success; giving us more information about our demographics whether is performance-related or personal interest; and it paints a bulls-eye that we should aim for.

But sometimes data can restrict your creativity.

I bet none of you have felt that way before.

But if you have, watch the next video. And keep on reading.

I believe there's a happy place where data drives, but creativity thrives. It's just about the approach. Because in reality, data doesn't drive. It can't. Your Excel sheets and data charts can't drive for you. It can't pick up expo markers for you. It can't explain sentence fragments for you. It can't help students through equations or listen to a kid playing a flute or help your 1st class of the day conjugate Spanish verbs. Data does not drive. You do.

Data is like a road map or your GPS. Rather than drive, it gives direction. It tells you the way to go and the places to turn, but it never really drives the car for you. All it's doing is telling you a way to get from A to B -- but you're still in charge of the car. So while you're navigating your way through the rest of the school year, use your data. Let it help you know where you need to go, where your traffic jams may be, pinpoint shortcuts, and help you figure out how long the journey might take you. Use your creativity to help you (and your students) enjoy the ride a little bit more.



Word to your Walls: Word Walls and Strategies to Use Them

I know. Word Walls are not the most exciting thing for some people. But I can promise you two things: 1) if you actively use it, it's pretty awesome; and 2) I have ways you can actively use them. Bam. *drops the mic, walks away*

  1. This PD covers: what words walls should be, what goes on a word wall, and then how you can engage your students in that vocab.
  2. This PD is offered: In person, at your request, whenever I'm at your school. Let's schedule a time -- and bring some friends. :)

Tech Tools for Formative Assessment

This one, you're thrilled about right? You get two birds with one PLEF here. Tech Tools AND Formative Assessment. TECH TOOLS. FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT. ... Contain yourself, friend. You're getting weird.

  1. This PD covers: Tech Tools. Formative Assessment. Not trying to make this complicated for you. I'll look at what exactly is formative assessment, how you already formatively assess, and ways you can easily integrate technology into this strategy you're already doing.
  2. This PD is offered: In person, at your request, whenever I'm at your school. Let's schedule a time -- and again, bring some friends. Groups are fun.


General Information

Amplify System updates:

Changes to Student Avatars

  • Teachers can now see their students avatars on the Select Student screen
  • Student Avatars are now visible in the Discussion tool

Amplify Knowledge Base
  • For helpful guides and information, visit the Knowledge Base and our online community for helpful information and to engage with fellow teachers around the country

Zcaler Roll-Out

  • Zscaler was implement to help fill in the network filter where it had gaps.
  • If students are accessing sites they shouldn't (inappropriate, social media, etc.), let me and your Media Specialist know. Specifically, WHICH sites. That way, we can submit it to the right people to get it filtered.

Apps et al.

  • Got an app you want? Go here and learn more about the process to get them. However, the process has to be followed and the form has to be filled out, and sometimes, it might take a while.
  • This is a great time to start looking forward and trying to get apps for the fall.
  • Tablet Tool: News-O-Matic If you have not yet discovered this gem, it's a great app offered in the Amplify Market. This app offers interesting current events for students with lots of way to interact with the text, options for read aloud, comprehension and more. Check out this page on their website ( for tips on how to use this in your classroom! As a snapshot, their tips include: Morning meetings, Shared reading, Independent reading, and Vocabulary development and more!

  • Web 2.0: News ELA is a kick-butt tool that I bet a few of you know and a few of you don't. It's a great way to work on students reading comprehension with relevant non-fiction: the news! Students and teachers are able to find different articles (categories include war/peace, money, law, science, health, arts, sports) and place them at -- get it! -- different lexile levels. Check this mess out; it's amazing.

If you have additional questions about them, or just want me to pop in and go through it with you some, let me know!


Sabrina's Instructional Technology Smore

Sabrina Jenkins, GCS's Instructional Technologist, also creates Smores that could assist you as you start implementing more technology into your classroom. Check out the main page of her Smore to find her most recent fliers and up-to-date information.

Where's my PLEF?

Jonathan can be found PLEF-ing it up at Jackson or Eastern most days, but he occassionally wanders around the district and finds himself at some other school. His schedule has gotten a little topsy-turvey, though, so keep up with weekly e-mails from him to know his location.